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|Papua New Guinea
|Online Audio NT:
The Aiome people live on the remote plains of Ramu Valley, one of the remotest parts of Madang Province. Their villages are found two hundred kilometers west of the provincial capital, Madang. Politically they are a part of the Middle Ramu District and the Simbai Local Level Government area.
The people still speak their traditional Aiome language as their primary language. Many of the people can use Tok Pisin or English when at the market or if they see people from outside of their area. But Aiome is the language they use in their own community.
The Aiome population may be small, but their cultural identity is strong. They have lived off their land for many generations. Still today they grow sweet potato, sugarcane and bananas and also raise pigs. The construction of roads has opened up opportunities to supplement their traditional livelihood by selling food and betel nut. This cash allows the people to enjoy store goods like rice and tea.
The Aiome people don't have the Bible in their language. This is despite the fact that nine out of ten Aiome people identify themselves as Christian. Most attend the local Anglican church. God's heart grieves for his people because without his word, they don't understand much about who he is and they are missing out on the intimacy with him that he longs for them to enjoy.
The Global Recordings Network have kindly recorded some Bible teaching in the Aiome language. Because of limited internet access, the Aiome people are rarely able to tap into this wonderful resource. But when they do, they are blessed! How much more blessed will they be when they have the full revelation of God.
One of the neighboring groups has had the New Testament since 2000. The Rao are immediately west of the Aiome, but separated by uninhabited mountain terrain. The Aiome and Rao languages are related, perhaps indicating a common ancestry some hundreds of years ago. The relationship between the Aiome and Rao may help provide a means for translating the New Testament into Aiome.
The Aiome population is small and youthful. Most are aged 15 years or less. The Aiome people are young because, unfortunately, most die before they reach their 60s. The causes of death are usually preventable, but there are no doctors to turn to in the entire district. Malaria and TB are some of the common killers. Injuries are another common cause of death. Complications in childbirth contribute to the high mortality among young women.
Access to education services is also very restricted. Around six in ten children are not enrolled in school. This contributes to very low literacy rates. The self-reported literacy rate in the district is 30.7 per cent for males and 16.6 per cent for females. Self-reported literacy rates in PNG have been found to overstate actual literacy by about three to one, so it is likely that very few Aiome people can read.
Please pray for the wellbeing of the Aiome people. Pray for dramatic improvements in their schooling and health services.
Pray that those Aiome who identify as Christian will understand the good news and follow Jesus as best they know.
Ask God that all Aiome people will experience the love of God and will desire his word in their own language.
Pray to the Lord of the harvest to assign workers to help translate the Bible into the Aiome language!